Classic Car Values On The Rise

1967 Shelby


Seasons are changing and so are the values on classic cars. In just the last 8 months, the following collector cars saw substantial value increases (statistics from Hagerty Insurance Company):

  • 1992 Pontiac Firebird SLP Firehawk: Up 70%
  • 1963 Ford Thunderbird- Up 33%
  • 1977 Mercedes Benz 450SEL- Up 33%
  • 1983 Datsun 280ZX- Up 26%
  • 1969 Porsche 912- Up 24%
  • 1972 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible- Up 18%

These value increases are a good example as to why you should make sure that your collect car valuation is up to date, along with your insurance coverage.

In many cases, collector cars are insured for a specific dollar amount, which is the maximum an insurance company will pay at the time of loss. This means that increased values are not covered unless your policy has been updated with a new valuation and coverage amount.

Our agency understands that the classic car marketplace behaves differently from the standard new/used car arena. Classic cars are typically subject to more scrutiny towards detail as there is a lot of emotion (and hard work) that goes into even the smallest improvements and additions. Factors such as low mileage, documentation history, condition, rarity, improvements and overall market demand play a large role in determining the proper value behind a specific vehicle.

As we approach the popular Fall driving season in Wisconsin, make sure to get an up to date valuation or quote on your classic car. If our valuation process can be a resource, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Colonial Insurance Agency | N112W15237 Mequon Rd Germantown, WI 53022 | | Ph (262) 255-3770

Auto Insurance Myths

Understanding your auto insurance policy can be a difficult task, so hopefully you rely on an independent agent to explain your policy details and how they better protect you.  Adding further confusion to auto insurance are popular auto insurance myths and how they can impact your rate and coverage.  Some of the myths even cause consumers to shy away from buying certain vehicles.  The purpose of this post is to debunk some of the popular myths that agents come across.Red Car

  1. The color of my car impacts my rate. Color actually has zero impact on your auto insurance rate.  It’s widely believed that red cars have higher rates because they may “look faster”…not true.  Insurance companies are more concerned about the year, make, and model of your vehicle.  The year, make, and model along with your driving record and credit score will help companies determine your rate.
  2. If I borrow my car to a friend, their insurance policy is responsible.  Not true. When you borrow your car to a friend, you’re also borrowing them your insurance policy.  In the state of Wisconsin, insurance follows the vehicle-not the driver.  Choose wisely when lending your vehicle to a friend! 
  3. My policy automatically covers theft, fire, vandalism, damage from hail, wind, fire, flood or a vehicle/animal.  These causes of loss are a few of many popular claim payouts for insurance companies.  Physical damage protection for your vehicle is provided through your comprehensive deductible (also known as other than collision)  as well as your collision deductible.  Each deductible applies to a particular set of losses, so be sure to consult with your agent to find out what you need for your vehicle.  Simply asking for full coverage without an explanation could leave you exposed to coverage that you thought you had.
  4.  My personal property is automatically covered in my car.  Example: your expensive golf clubs are stolen from your car.  It’s likely that your auto insurance policy  will not provide any coverage.  Why the vague answer?  Because this gray area can be easily solved by simply talking to your agent.  There are coverage features that you can add to your policy to provide a limit of protection against circumstances such as theft.  If there is no such coverage, you would have to file the claim under your home, condo, or renter’s insurance policy…subject to your deductible.  Consult with your agent to find out your specific policy details when it comes to your personal property and your auto insurance.
  5. I’m covered if I rent a car. When you rent a car, most personal auto insurance companies transfer coverage over to the rental vehicle during the time the rental is utilized by you.  However, this is an area that you must discuss with your agent.  Your agent may suggest purchasing a physical damage waiver or checking with your credit card carrier to see if they’ll pay for some of the rental expense.

Take advantage of your independent agent and ask them to help clarify any areas of confusion on your policy, hopefully the above auto insurance myths are no longer a worry to you.  Remember tat working with an independent agent not only opens up your options of insurance carriers to choose from, but also provides a knowledge outlet for complex questions on your policy, don’t hesitate to use them!  If you have any additional myths or coverage questions, please don’t hesitate to ask to have your policy reviewed.


Damaged Windshield: Should I File a Claim?

I have a cracked windshield, what do I do?

If your windshield has a small crack or chip, there’s a good chance it can be repaired rather than replaced.  A general rule of thumb is that if a chip is less than a quarter in size or if a crack is less than a dollar in length, it can be repaired.  Most importantly, many insurance companies will waive the deductible or repair cost if you decide to repair the damaged windshield, rather than replace it.  (Check with your agent to see what your glass coverage entails.)Chipped-Windshield

How It’s Done:

Windshields are repaired by certified technicians.  The technicians use a clear resin and inject it into the damaged portion of the glass.  The resin acts as a bonding agent,  preventing the crack or chip from spreading.  This process can usually be completed in about 20 minutes.


The certified windshield technician will assess your damaged windshield and determine whether or not repair is appropriate.  If the damage is too severe, the windshield may need to be completely replaced.  For your safety, it’s recommended that any damaged windshield with a chip or crack in the driver’s line of sight be completely replaced.  If you need a full replacement, your technician will set a date and time to replace your windshield based on the year, make, and model of your vehicle.  Place your trust in a certified technician and don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Who Should I Call?

First, call your agent.  Your agent will be able to help determine the severity of the crack or chip.  Based on the damage, they will explore the option of  filing a claim or simply suggest that you have it repaired.  Your agent will likely be able to refer you to a reputable windshield repair shop.

If you’re interested in discussing glass coverage and what coverage options our companies have to offer, please contact us: 262.255.3770

Medical Payments Coverage

What is medical payments coverage?

 Medical payments coverage, also known as “Med-Pay”, provides medical expense coverage for you and anyone else in your vehicle-regardless of who is at fault at the time of loss.  Medical payments coverage may also cover you or your family members should they be injured as a pedestrian or as a passenger in another vehicle.  Coverage varies by state, be sure to talk with your agent about your specific coverage details.

What does it cover?

Medical payments coverage offers protection for a wide variety of medical expenses related to a covered accident.  Your policy will pay up to the selected policy limit for any of the following expenses incurred by either you or your passengers:

  • Ambulance or EMT fees
  • Hospital visits/stays
  • Doctor visits
  • Surgery
  • X-Rays
  • Dental surgery
  • Medical co-payments or deductibles
  • Chiropractic expenses
  • Funeral expenses & more!

I have health insurance.  Why do I need medical payments coverage?

Medical payments coverage may provide coverage where your health insurance plan does not.  For example, your medical payments coverage may cover the expense of any co-payments or deductibles required from your health plan. Medical payments coverage isn’t meant to substitute your health insurance; it’s actually applied as secondary coverage and picks up any deficiencies in your health insurance plan.  When deciding on a medical payment limit, consider your current health insurance plan and find out what it covers in the event of an accident.  As always, discuss your insurance needs with your agent for any guidance on policy related decisions.

How to Know Which Insurance to Take on a Rental Car

Step 1   Know the limitations of your own car insurance. When you rent a car, most personal auto insurance companies’ coverage transfers over to the rental vehicle during the time the rental is utilized by you. Call us to discuss your specific situation.

If you allow additional drivers who are NOT on your personal auto policy, you run the risk that if those persons are operating the rental, they, and the damages they cause, will not be covered.

If your policy provides minimum coverage, you may need to compute the value of the loss or damage of a newer vehicle (the rental car) and decide if you need to supplement your coverage. Personal auto policies that extend collision coverage to a rental car may only provide a coverage limit equal to the value of your own vehicle. If the value of your personal vehicle is less than that of the rental vehicle, you could still incur some damage responsibility.

Step 2  Find out if your credit card company provides any kind of protection. Some credit card companies offer rental car insurance coverage if you use their card to pay for the rental.

Ask about the requirements for getting reimbursed. For example, you may not be reimbursed if you don’t notify the credit card company within a certain period of time (e.g. 45 days) after the incident.

Typically, for credit card insurance to work, the rental car has to be paid in full with that credit card, and you must decline the rental company’s collision waiver, and be the primary renter of the car (although additional authorized drivers are also covered).

Step 3  Check if you’re covered under any of the following specific conditions:

On a business trip – Some personal auto policies might not cover rentals on business trips.

Most insurance companies DO NOT cover any automobile use that involves delivery for business purposes of food, materials, supplies, papers or people.

Long-term rentals – Coverage may be limited. Most credit card company plans cover vehicles rented for up to one month.

In a foreign country – Coverage may not apply.

Certain rental vehicles – Some rental vehicles aren’t covered (exotic cars, camper, pickup trucks, etc.)

Step 4   If you are not covered adequately by your own insurance policy and/or the credit card company, then you might want to consider the rental agency’s options – any insurance is better than no insurance. Hindsight is 20/20, and it is always better to pay a nominal amount per day rather than having to pay thousands of dollars over years in a payment plan for property damage, or having liens placed against you for bodily injury damage.

There are a few plans that most states are required by law to offer:

Collision damage waiver (CDW), also known as “optional vehicle protection” or “loss damage waiver” (LDW).  (Highly recommended to take this coverage)

  • Loss damage waiver means that if the car is damaged for any reason, you can just walk away without any liability. This is true even if your own personal auto policy carries over. This gets you out of paying the deductible that you would normally have to pay under your own car insurance policy, unless the waiver itself has a deductible.  Can cost $20 or more per day but shifts liability for collision damage from you to the car rental company.


  • This coverage will apply for “loss of use”.  Loss of use is a fee that is charged by the rental company if your rental car is damaged and is sent out for repair. You would be billed a loss-of-use fee for all damages and repair to the rental car as well as a fee for every day that the vehicle was not able to be rented. That can add up! A loss-of-use fee is not covered by personal auto insurance policies.


  • If you don’t have collision and comprehensive insurance of your own, it’s generally a good idea to buy a waiver. There are different levels, dictating how much you’re responsible for (none of the damage, damage in excess of $500 or $3000, etc.).

Liability insurance

  • protects for up to $1 million
  • costs between $7 and $14 a day
  • if you already have an insurance policy, you already have this
  • Most states require rental companies to cover a minimum liability at no cost to you. Check to see what those requirements are in your state, and decide if that is sufficient for you.
  • Personal accident insurance
  • covers medical and ambulance bills for anyone in the car
  • costs $1-5 a day
  • you probably don’t need this if you have an existing car insurance policy, or if you (and everyone else in the car) has adequate health insurance coverage
  • Personal effects coverage
  • covers theft of items in vehicle
  • costs $1-4 a day
  • an alternative is to buy a floating policy under home or renters insurance so valuable items are fully protected wherever you go

Personal accident insurance

  • covers medical and ambulance bills for anyone in the car
  • costs $1-5 a day
  • you probably don’t need this if you have an existing car insurance policy, or if you (and everyone else in the car) has adequate health insurance coverage

Personal effects coverage

  • covers theft of items in vehicle
  • costs $1-4 a day
  • Coverage would extend if you already have home or renters insurance


And of course, if you have any questions at all regarding your policy, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Car Insurance: Should I let my friend drive my car?

car keysA common myth in the insurance industry is that the car insurance policy follows the driver, not the car.  In Wisconsin, it’s the opposite.  In the event of an accident, the car insurance follows the car or policyholder, not the driver.  Even if the other driver has insurance, with great liability limits and low deductibles, your company is primarily responsible for any damages that have occurred.  As defined in the Wisconsin insurance law, a policy provides coverage to the named insured, spouse, and other relatives living in the home as well as anyone to whom the named insured has given permission to operate the vehicle.  Key word, permission.

If you plan on lending someone your car, remember you’re also lending them your car insurance.  Take this into strong consideration before handing over your keys.  Here’s a scenario explaining how a claim would be handled in the event that you gave a friend permission to use your vehicle:

John gives his friend Andy permission to drive his vehicle to the grocery store.  John’s insurance policy coverage is primary on the vehicle, even though Andy is the person operating it and has his own insurance.  On the way to the grocery store, Andy rear ends another vehicle.  Andy is found at fault for this accident.  The accident is very severe and the damages done to the rear ended driver exhausts all of John’s liability insurance policy limits.  Andy’s policy then becomes secondary and provides the additional liability coverage needed to make the injured party whole again.

What if Andy doesn’t have insurance?

Consider the previous scenario where Andy rear ends another vehicle while driving John’s car, but this time, Andy doesn’t have insurance.  (Again, the accident is severe and all of John’s liability limits have been exhausted, now what?)  This time John is liable for ALL damages done by Andy because Andy doesn’t have insurance to cover the additional damages to the injured driver.  John would likely be sued for those additional damages, as the injured party has a right to be made whole again.

(This is why our agency recommends strong liability limits and additional umbrella coverage, see our previous post on umbrella policies to learn more.)

If you have any questions regarding your auto insurance policy, please contact Colonial Insurance Agency.  Our agents are happy to review your current coverage and explain any policy details!



**Review your personal policy details to be certain where coverage is applied.  Make sure to check with state laws regarding any liability coverage details and exclusions where available .  This information is not related to your specific policy, be sure to check with your specific agent or company for exact coverage definitions or exclusions. **

6 Tips for Driving This Winter Season

Check out this great blog post from West Bend Mutual Insurance Company.  This blog was written by Scott Stueber from West Bend and highlights useful tips for driving in winter conditions.  To read more from Scott, follow the link to the West Bend Cares Blog.


West Bend Written by Scott Stueber on Tue, Dec 17, 2013

West Bend Blog-winter driving

While many of us have lived in a snowy climate our whole lives, it seems many people forget the skills and level of caution needed to drive in adverse winter conditions.

Here are some reminders that will help keep you and your family safe when traveling this winter season.

1. Be aware of changing weather conditions. If you don’t need to go out in a snow storm, don’t. If you do need to travel, use technology to your advantage. There are many weather apps for Smartphones that provide up-to-date weather conditions and send severe weather alerts to your phone. To sign up for weather alerts from The Weather Channel, click here.

2. If you’re involved in an accident stay in your car. While it may be instinctual to get out of your car and survey the damage, don’t. It’s safer to remain in your vehicle. From your car, you can call your family, police, insurance company, or a tow truck. If you’re in a pileup and can safely get your car off the roadway, do it. If you can’t and are in the driver’s seat with more cars coming your way, try and slide into the passenger seat and put on your seatbelt.

3. Pay attention to road conditions and what’s happening in front of you. The link below provides live camera footage from a Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicle’s traffic cam. As you watch the video, you’ll see that traffic is moving slowly and the approaching cars are traveling too fast for conditions. You can learn a lot by watching this video. It’s quite amazing.

Wisconsin pileup

4. If you’re approaching an accident or the road is in poor condition, turn on your hazard lights. This immediately alerts people behind you that a potentially dangerous situation exists and that they should begin to slow down.

5. Avoid using cruise control when driving in rain or snow. The slippery surface can cause your tires to slip, putting your car into an out-of-control spin.

6. Keep a safe following distance. Experts recommend keeping a safe following distance of eight to ten seconds. A car traveling at 60mph covers 88 feet per second, so it can take a car traveling on wet or snow-covered roads 6 to 10 seconds, and more than 500 feet, to stop.


Accident Scene Information

Vehicle accident

Accident Scene Information

It is more important than ever, to gather all pertinent information at the scene of an accident as well as taking photos of the damaged vehicles.


Many police departments are redacting (editing, blackening out) information from police reports due to an Illinois federal court case ruling (1).  The ruling stated that providing personal information found on police reports violated the privacy rights of drivers.  Police departments are now wary that they could be sued if they provide police reports which contain personal information of drivers.  Contacting drivers to file claims against them becomes very difficult without court action requiring the release of this information.  Insurance companies do have permissive use, however, there can be delays in the insurance companies getting the necessary information to file a claim against the responsible party.

 We can supply accident report forms

 The stress of an accident sometimes causes you to forget just what information you should gather.  An accident report form, kept in your glove box, can be very valuable at the time of an accident.  Colonial has them!  We’ll be happy to supply them to you.  Just give us call.



(1)  In compliance with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Senne v. Village of Palatine, 695F3d597 (7th Circuit, 2012), and the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (“DPPA”), 18 U.S.C. §2721 et.seq., the Sheriff’s Office is no longer releasing personal information under the DPPA unless it falls under a permissible use.  Personal information obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles, including an individual’s date of birth, driver’s license number, social security number, home address, telephone number, photograph and medical or disability information is prohibited from disclosure unless one of the permissible uses applies.  Permissible uses are listed in 18 U.S.C. 2721 (b).

Collector Vehicle Insurance

As Wisconsin’s fall season settles in, collector car owners begin to prepare their cherished vehicles for storage.  Each owner has a unique attachment to their vehicle, whether it be because of the countless hours spent rebuilding its engine, or the fresh coat of wax that the vehicle gets each month.  To maintain this attachment owners rely on tailored insurance coverage to protect their priceless ride.  A recognized leader and innovator in the collector car insurance market is American Collectors InsuranceAmerican Collectors provides the coverage needed for those that have spent countless hours and hard earned money on making their collector vehicle a well-oiled machine.  American Collectors provides affordable agreed value insurance for collector vehicles (as well as other collectible items).

Each collector vehicle is unique in its own way, so why not find an insurance policy that will do the same? Key policy features provided by American Collectors include Agreed Value Coverage, which means the vehicle owner states the vehicle’s dollar value and they will insure it for that amount, no appraisal needed.  If a claim occurs while the vehicle is in storage owners also have the option of carrying a zero deductible, reducing the out of pocket cost.  What about the one size fits all policies that only allow the vehicle to be driven 2,000 miles?  Not to worry, with American Collectors, owners can tailor a mileage plan ranging from 2,500 to 7,500 annual miles.  Is there a policy designed for the collector vehicle owner enthusiast that everyone in town knows about?  Of course.  American Collectors offers substantial discounts for high value collections.

Interested in learning more about the products that American Collectors Insurance has to offer?  Contact us today!